Why Self Care is Essential to Preventing Relapse?
What’s self care and how does it relate to addiction recovery and preventing relapse? Practicing good self care starts with taking care of your mind, body, and spirit now that you’re not using drugs anymore. One of the reasons self-care is such a fundamental part of addiction recovery is that through substance abuse, addicts become cut off from an authentic way of being. By using mind-altering substances to numb emotions and check out from difficult situations, addicts stunt the development of healthy coping mechanisms.
Chemical dependency is characterized by mental obsession and physical craving; an addict’s substance of choice can become more important than keeping a job, getting enough sleep or eating properly. Typically when entering recovery, physical health and well-being are at a low point as a result of the stress put on the body by drugs and alcohol.
Self care is an essential relapse prevention measure because it provides an addict in recovery a healthy foundation with which to direct energy that was used for deflecting accountability through substance abuse. Through learning to manage health and well-being, someone in recovery can place themselves in a position to be open to possibilities and better able to be of service, to their own needs, and to helping others.
Being mindful of proper nutrition is a good beginning for newcomers who have been neglecting diet and exercise. Coupled with spiritual practices such as prayer and meditation, it’s possible to become more comfortable with and aware of changes in the mind and body.
Social support from friends and family, support groups and therapy is also a positive step for individuals both in early sobriety and throughout recovery. Being mindful of moods and thought patterns is a good way to know when to reach out. Learning to ask for help from trusted sources allows for the chance to redirect negative thinking by being open to another point of view.
Many people have been known to neglect self-care from time to time, whether it be physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. But for the recovering alcoholic or addict, what practicing these skills will mean is a lifestyle change based on the positive structure and a healthy routine. It is possible to find happiness and joy in recovery by having a good support system and doing the work for yourself, one day at a time. If you or a loved one are still affected by substance abuse, help is only a phone call away. Contact one of our caring addiction specialists and let’s create a personalized plan of action.